While healthcare is naturally dependent on face-to-face interactions, practitioners increasingly rely on the digital world to deliver the care their patients need. From electronic health records to tablets that bring diagnostic tools to a patient’s bedside, technology plays a vital role in delivering services. However, protecting the performance and availability of these services means more than adhering to service level agreements—poor performance can directly impact patient health. According to a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, this has become increasingly important as healthcare organizations face security threats from bad actors while simultaneously laboring under the unprecedented demands brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the United States, many hospitals are close to capacity, putting enormous pressure on the hospitals’ IT infrastructure and applications, which need to perform in a highly responsive and reliable manner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As Eileen Haggerty, NETSCOUT AVP, product and solutions marketing notes in the Becker’s article, “Any unplanned disruption can be truly catastrophic, and even planned migrations, application upgrades, or system changes can be disruptive.”
Security risks has also grown as non-medical staff at many healthcare organizations have switched to remote work, increasing the use of remote access to patient records and other hospital applications. As a result, protecting access links to the hospital data centers and application services needs to be a top priority, especially with the recent increase in security threats such as the global DDoS extortion campaign that has targeted the healthcare industry. Tom Bienkowski, director of product marketing at NETSCOUT, points out in the article that “one of the biggest threats to the performance of the hospital’s digital infrastructure, as well as the availability of services, is a DDoS attack.”
Read more about the challenges covered in this broad-reaching article, as well as tactics that can be used to protect performance and availability in healthcare networks.